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Get reading for a good cause, kids!

More than 40,000 Aussie kids are expected to read for a good cause in August by participating in the annual MS Readathon.

Now in its 43rd year, the campaign is one of Australia’s longest-running charity initiatives, inspiring kids to read as much as they can throughout August to raise vital funds for the 25,600 Australians living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and their family members.

Sign-ups to the program nearly tripled during the peak of the pandemic in 2020 with more than 270,000 books being read by almost 50,000 dedicated Aussies, which raised over $4 million to fund vital support services.

Lejla Sinanovic from Newington is taking part in her second MS Readathon. Last year, with the help of her mother, Zineta, Lejla raised over $2500, and this year is aiming to raise even more funds, with a goal of reading 25 books.

Lejla’s favourite books include the Rowan of Rin series by Emily Rodda.

Zineta says that, although they do not know anyone personally affected by MS, “being able to help other families and think about the positive impact it has is a great feeling”.

The money Lejla and others raise this year will help fund these vital support services and enable Australians impacted by MS receive the support they need to live a happy and full life.

Elizabeth Dorizac, Senior Manager, Individual Giving at Multiple Sclerosis Ltd, said: “The latest restrictions may have thrown another curveball to many of us … but we hope preparation for this year’s MS Readathon will provide some light relief for parents, carers and kids alike and inspire Aussies to read as much as possible for a good cause this August!

“This year, we want to beat last year’s incredible fundraising effort and, if we are successful in reaching our target, we will be able to give even more Australians living with MS, as well as their families, access to MS Family Camps and Fun Days.”

The camps provide an opportunity for kids who have a parent living with MS to spend quality time with their family, learn more about the condition and bond with other kids who are sharing their journey.

MS is a condition of the central nervous system, interfering with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for MS which makes the readathon so pivotal in the fight against the disease in Australia.

Anyone who registers from today through to July 16 will receive a free pair of socks. MS Readathon is also encouraging participants to make a self-donation within seven days of registration to receive a complimentary library bag.

The rules are simple; read whatever you like, as much as you can, throughout the month of August. There is no fundraising minimum and there are fundraising prizes and awards to be won.

Kids, adults and schools are invited to register now for the challenge and track their reading tally at www.msreadathon.org.au.

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